Email: Sweet and Sour
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Message sent to UCG:
I came across your booklet "Why the Bible is the word of God," and see where you are giving a series of Bible studies, rehashing the old Worldwide Church of God Bible course. Casting your net into unfished waters.
After exiting the Worldwide Church of God-UCG where I spent a 28 year hiatus from my normal life, I'd like to remind you of the 40,000 plus who also left, that have already been there and done that. And it's old hat. Now, we are able to use our entire brain, and can challenge you on equal footing and debate this issue. So I submit to you my firm rebuttal.
The Bible most definitely is not the word of God. One of the things I learned over the many years we had our minds twisted, contorted, and controlled by Herbert and his handsomely paid mouthpieces, is Worldwide Church of God's constant practice of taking an assumption and presenting it as a positive. The splinter groups have continued this habit, and have taken over Herbert's agenda and guide book to true salvation.
The basis of your belief is in a supposedly infallible Bible. You present it and teach it as a positive. Your ministries were schooled and educated in its contents. They know the scriptures backward and forward. Every jot and tittle. Doubt not one word of it. A jackass talked. The sun stood still. The earth is flat. The sea parted. The dead brought back to life etc, etc. Preach it to the flock as a positive. They realize that if they doubt otherwise, they jeopardize their livelihood. So in furthering Herbert's agenda, they convert the flock into a devoted cult, controlling their minds and manipulating their lives. Warns them to forsake Satan's world (actually, God's) and imbues them with a promised royalty in the "World Tomorrow."
There is no doubt that when God created man, he did make us free moral agents. In doing so, we were given the ability to think, the choice to worship or not to worship. To invent, discover, explore, heal, cure, love, etc., and make life easier and happier for His creation.
So if we were made in His image and His likeness, then it stands to reason he instilled within us some of His nature. But in making us all free agents, he knew some would go astray. So he relies on the majority to keep the errant ones in line.
Within our minds God also implanted logic and reason. Sadly lacking and suppressed in most religions, especially the Worldwide Church of God and its offshoots. They are discouraged from reading any literature not approved by the hierarchy. Consequently, the history and the origin of religion and the Bible are strictly forbidden. The brethren's noses should constantly be buried in the Bible and their eyes on the Kingdom. All theory, all myth, all illusion, and all crap. Created by man. I present to you logic and reason, that God bestowed upon us, as to why I and many others believe He did not write the Bible. Quoting facts, and various opinions of people of intelligence and people of renown;
"Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses, The Christians have their Jesus, The Turks their Mahomet--as if the way to God was not open to every man alike."---Thomas Paine. (The COGs have their Herbert).
"The Gallup poll tells us that 43% of the U.S. population say that the Bible is the word of God, although everything in it may not be literally true. This 43% probably do not believe in disembodied voices and curing blindness with spit, but they still pay homage and respect to a book filled with myth and superstition, absurdities and gross teaching." ---Anne Nicole Gaylor
"Finding that no religion is based on facts and cannot therefore be true, I began to reflect what must be the condition of mankind trained from infancy to believe in error."---Robert Owen
"I was born a heretic. I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows." Susan B. Anthony
"Statements, teachings, and concepts within the New Testament, combined with two thousand years of Christian history, prove beyond any doubt that the Bible has been effectively employed to the advantage of dominant groups with tragic effects upon the history of humanity." --C. Dennis McKinsey, Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy
(I doubt that this particular book of over 500 pages on biblical errors has ever been read by any in the COGs, as they are all tunnel-minded, all falsely believing they are back on track 29, bound for a Kingdom Divine). Associating God with such a diabolical book of cruelty, mayhem, murder, slaughtering of innocent infants, women, and children, not to mention horrendous other crimes against humanity, and to claim it was written by men "inspired by God", is sacrilege. It is an affront and a gross insult to the Almighty. Why did I finally come to realize that after becoming unstuck from a tar-baby religion?
"Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error." ---Thomas Jefferson Your Bible study course on "Why the Bible Is the Word of God" is presented as an absolute. Based solely on scripture alone and not on fact. It is merely a clone of the old Worldwide Church of God Bible courses, molding the students' mind to conform to your beliefs. So, being the Word of God, the student has no recourse to voice many logical questions as is normal in any classroom procedure. For example, any open-minded person would want to know why a kind, loving, fair-minded, compassionate God would write such an outrageous book? About every conceivable crime in history can be found between the covers of the Bible. Such as incest, homicide, sexism, slaughter of innocent babes, women and children, genocide, homicide, rape, murder, etc.
An example of sexism; "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression." (1 Tim. 2:11-14)
"The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, convicted and sentenced. Marriage to her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection she was to play the role of a dependent on a man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire...Here is the Bible's position of woman briefly summed up."......Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"All women have been sexually abused by the Bible teachings, and institutions set on its fundamentalist interpretations. There would be no need for the women's movement if the church and the Bible hadn't abused them." -----Father Leo Booth.
"The bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation." ---Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"The clergy never discovered any injustice to women; and only one in a thousand could see it when it was pointed out to them." ---Joseph McCabe, The Religion of Woman, 1905
We, personally, were taught in the Worldwide Church of God that the man was the boss and woman was "the weaker vessel." That women were to be quiet in church, treat their husbands as Jesus Christ, and be meek and servile. In strict compliance with 1 Tim. 2:11-14. (Mucho Macho!)
Finally, excerpts from an article written by Austin Miles, a minister and author of many articles and books;
"When I was a Christian and deeply involved with the church, I read the Bible, yet I really did not read it. The preachers skillfully guided me over the majority of its passages, which later I found to be horrifying. Cloaked in the beauty of its poetic language, and having temporarily taken leave of my capacity to think or reason, I missed the real blood and-guts issue if this classic literature.
One of the first things that I read in the Bible as an adult while in the state of non-thinking, was that God rested from his work on the seventh day. The All-Powerful, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient God got tired? And he had to rest!?
This fatigue overtook the Almighty after he had created all living things "after their kind." After what kind? If this was "THE" creation of the world and its creatures, where did God get his models from which to pattern his creatures if nothing had existed before that? Moreover, how did I miss this? Perhaps I was preoccupied with my original sin of being born.
The Bible as we know it, is not the authentic word of God. It cannot stand up under examination. I will now offer you shocking proof that man not only tampered with the Bible to control his fellow man through guilt and fear, but also made king-size blunders in the process.
One day while randomly reading my Bible, I made a startling discovery. After reading 2 Kings 19, I flipped a couple of pages and read some more. To my astonishment, I found myself reading the same words. Now, class, open your Bibles to 2 Kings 19--and also to Isaiah 37. These books are word for word identical! No Bible scholar has been able to give me a satisfactory explanation for this. (I'll bet the UCG can, and make you believe it!)
Perhaps there is an "original sin," man's innate determination and ability to pervert everything, even the concept of God. To attribute the deeds and thoughts described in the Bible to a benevolent, almighty God would indeed be blasphemy." ----Austin Miles
And your Bible course, teaching that the Bible is the Word of God, only exacerbates that blasphemy.
REPLY FROM UCG:
Thank you for taking the time to write to us about your thoughts and feelings about the new Bible Study Course. I will pass along your comments to the editorial coordinator of this project.
As you pointed out, the Bible has been used for many wrong reasons, and many apparent errors have been reported. We do believe that these must be taken seriously, and would be happy to look into specifics to try to give you a logical explanation if we can. Obviously if you have already decided that it is not worth your time, we don't want to waste your time or ours. But if there are specific questions you would like us to address, please let us know.
We look forward to hearing more from you.
All the best,
You might have grown up in the Worldwide Church of God if...?
I'm at work and I'm trying very hard to suppress my laughter, but it's a bit difficult! This stuff is hysterical! I do know where Big Sandy, TX is as I grew up there! Argh!
Why don't you add to the list: YouR father has taken the family out to dinner and, only after ordering cheeseburgers for everyone, realizes that this day is a day of Unleavened Bread and asks the waitress to please bring the cheeseburgers without the bread!
Yes, this did happen, and somehow, only I, who was about 10, was embarrassed! And, to this day, I can remember the complete look of befuddlement and confusion on the waitresses' face.
Melvin Rhodes is a UCG pastor from Michigan (don't mention that state here in Ohio) who currently runs a column in The Journal. I'd like to pass along some excerpts from his latest article in the Dec. 13th issue;
"---Generally, people with religious convictions live longer and healthier lives. However, one exception to this rule was noted. People in sects do not live as long as average, nor is their state of health all that good.
I think we would all agree we are a sect of Christianity. We are not a part of mainstream religion. Our beliefs are quite different from those of most professing Christians. Some would call us a cult. One definition of cult in my dictionary (Clarke's) is "sect," so a thin line divides the two. A cult is a group of people "devoted to, (with) attachment to, or admiration for, a person, principle, etc,. (Melvin pulls a Clinton here); Because the word cult carries more negative connotations than sect, I prefer to thinking of myself as belonging to a sect rather than a cult. Perhaps it is more of a case of having graduated from cult status to the status of a sect by recent event."
(Yeah, graduating from Tweedle-Dum-Dumb to Tweedle Dee)
"Anyway, however you want to think of yourself, religious beliefs have not been good for our health, (What an understatement!) with the added caveat that longevity eludes most members of the Churches of God."
Good Ole Mel. Always putting his foot in his mouth. I remember the last FOT I attended where he gave the "Last Great Day" sermon. His subject? Homosexuality. He probablly caught hell from Bob Dick for that. But thinking back on it now, It did tie in, somewhat. I do admire his frankness. The title lf his article could well have been: SMOKING AND CULTS CAN BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH. Happy New Year,
I love the new index on our site. Is now so much easier to find my way around now. I think it was very well worth your investment of time. I am sure you will get a lot of good feed back on this.
This Richard Purdom, person, is just a good example of the walking mindless, mind controlled, not able to think for himself, WWer. Totally brainwashed, not able to face the reality of the evil of HWA and the WWCg.
These guys can't see the evil. It is because they are hypnotized to be "positive".
Once this man researches what is written, yes sometimes in RIGHTEOUS anger on your site, he too will become outraged at the evils he finds. That is, if HE has any conscience.
I challenge him to find out what is the "PAINFUL TRUTH"! Research, and don't just shoot off at the mouth. We the walking wounded, have a right to our anger. Anyone with a conscience would have righteous anger, if he saw the REAL TRUTH. Meanwhile it is easy to spout the nasty, negative, accusations of the accusers, namely the WWCg! This is where the REAL BITTERNESS emanates from, the false ministers, the false "brethren", the false 'christians' .....the WWCg. They turn their nasty mouths on the injured ........YES......FACE THIS FACT...........THE INJURED VICTIMS. THERE ARE VICTIMS OF THE CULTS. YOU BET. ALL THOSE THAT WRITE TO THE PAINFUL TRUTH ARE VICTIMS. So is this Richard Purdom, but HE just doesn't KNOW it yet, that is all.
Hope everything is well with you and your family. I ran across this update on The Restored Church of God's website. Dave Packs group. I think this more than proves the spirit of Herb lives on. Please notice paragraph 3 and the proof that God wants these booklets published. Proof being they hired an incompetent printer. I wish in my job that the more I did wrong the better I was actually doing. If this is true this is a perfect work, because they have not done anything right, which in true church speak means they are doing everything right. Gives a person a headache.
Also paragraph 5 we have 3 tithes and the HWA trust fund, which is separate fund so all those wonderful old booklets can be published that Herb wrote. I am wondering if they will publish all the truth by Gawds Apostle. 75 in prophecy, The flog log etc.
I wonder if the Herb trust fund is also a required 10%.
The Restored Church of God
PO Box 23295
Wadsworth OH 44282 Ph:
(330) 334-2266 Fax: (330) 334-6512
December 31, 1999
Mr. Pack has asked me to briefly fill you in on a couple of items of interest. He is on his way home from North Carolina where he spent the last several days visiting his family, including his new grandson. He will be back here in Wadsworth in time for Sabbath services tomorrow.
This past week we had planned to put into the mail the first four re-printed booklets of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. Everything was on schedule on our end until the printer called us mid-week to tell us that he was having some unusual problems with the booklets. He said he had never seen the type of problems before that he was experiencing with the Mr. Armstrong booklets color bleeding seemed to be the major problem. He apologized, but said that he would not be able to deliver them as scheduled.
We told him it was our desire to accept only a quality finished product, and that we would rather wait until he could identify and repair the problem he was having so we could have a finished product befitting the legacy of Mr. Armstrong. We are actually even more encouraged because of these problems, for it is additional confirmation that the ruler of this world is against this effort.
It is our current understanding that these booklets will be delivered to us late next week. We will then mail them to you with a member letter by Mr. Pack describing in more detail this re-publishing effort.
From the financial perspective, Mr. Pack asked me to inform you that we have ended this month with a fantastic level of income in all categories (1T, 2T, 3T, HWA Trust Fund). We could not be more thrilled and encouraged. These resources make our collective goal of republishing the Mr. Armstrong legacy closer than ever! Thank you all for your dedication and faithfulness.
Have a Great Sabbath!
I saw your web site on a search engine when I entered the truth about Vietnam, and I thought I'd check your site out, cause years ago I remember listening to Armstrong on the radio, and then his son, if I remember right, and I recall vaguely some dispute over if they were on the up and up. I wanted to check it out.
Do you know that your site is very confusing? Maybe YOU know what you are talking about, but you are terrible at getting the message across. You don't give the big picture very well, in fact, in your FAQ page you start out with some oddity about publishing, taken down, whatever. Hey, realize that people who come to your page aren't you, and don't know the ins and outs of what you are talking about. I suggest you start simply and give an opening statement, along with some basic facts.
Meanwhile, good luck with your work. I guess you are out to expose the Worldwide Church of God, good for you.
Sorry Mark, but the site is mainly for those that were members of the Worldwide Church of God. They know exactly what I and others are talking about.
I don't have time to give a step by step history of the Cult. That is not the purpose of the site.
Even if you had some good suggestions as to how to organize over 500 pages in an easy to read way, I doubt if I would have the time to do it. But go ahead and give me some suggestions, if you would like.
I try to have a life other than the PT.
I looked at more of your site Ed and I apologize for saying it was very confusing. I went to that box with individual subjects and tried that and it worked great. Still, you might want to put a brief statement about the general nature of your site at its beginning.
I read with interest your bit about how these guys used Patriotism and so forth to brainwash or influence their followers. And I am sure they did. But what most religions use, maybe every one, is the tried and true hook of being two things -or appearing as two things -one is mysterious, and the other is profound. Its just this aspect of human nature that if you can appear mysterious and profound, people assume you know and its true. That's true for witch doctors in Africa, psychiatrists in USA, preachers, poets, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, protestants, whatever...
Dear Ed, Thanks for continuing to keep this interesting and informative website. Although I don't agree with your views on Jesus Christ, I regularly sift what I find useful and sometimes share it with others. I can honestly say your site has helped me.
If I may, I'd like to offer some constructive criticism. After reading your site for the past few months, I noticed a format which could be construed as a type of "bait and switch."
As you know, most of your readers are from various wcg backgrounds. But, for the most part, most still believe in the bible and the Savior.
These people seem to think, upon first impression of your site, that you have similar beliefs and of course we know that this is not so.
My suggestion to you is that you some how, in a bold and loud statement, let your readers know that you don't believe in the bible. Then, when they decide to pour their hearts out on your page, you won't smell so bad after you make your anti-Jesus statements.
Oh, thanks Jose. Sorry I smell so bad to you.
Maybe if you don't like the smell you could just go somewhere else to find whatever it is that you are looking for?
I put the FAQ right at the top of the main page. I don't think anything less than a "Don't believe anything YOU DON'T WANT TO because I am not a Christian" would satisfy you.
If they still believe in the Bible and the Savior, then that is what the Bibliolatry Page is for, and they have my sympathy.
So go somewhere else and do your sifting. Why not try the Worldwide Church of God homepage because they certainly believe in the Bible and the Savior.
It constantly amazes me to read some of the "Kooks" mail that you get from time to time and see how many people are still saying: "Get over it."
Haven't they got the point? We ARE over it, and now we're trying to help others. I've always considered it a responsibility to pass on info if I had it to anyone who wanted to listen. If they don't care, then fine. But this is what the Internet is all about. It's information giving, and people are free to read it or not. If the PT site is not for them, Ok, then go elsewhere. But it can help countless thousands in advance, and prevent them from making the same mistakes that we did. Isn't that worthwhile?
When people say "Get over it," and quote Jesus, then I think this is not only ignorant, but overly self-righteous as well. If anything, Jesus was the most outspoken against the organized religion of His day, and that's what got Him killed. Jesus never got over anything. He castigated those bastards. He wasn't taking any sort of revenge, He just told the truth.
If people can look at the PT site and say: "Tch -tch, get over it," then it's obvious that they were never crippled with the cult as so many were. Are these self righteous ones, for example, now living in small apartments, cold in the winter, and surviving just on social security? Have they been deprived of a decent, civilized retirement income just because HWA wanted to buy his new G-III? And etc. . . . ad infinitum.
No one's saying that we didn't make our mistakes. We did. But in such a situation, there's mistakes on BOTH sides, and that's what these self righteous critics have conveniently forgotten.
It's real easy to "Get over it," if you haven't been dragged to the bottom as a result of the antics from a cult. It's very easy to criticize those whose lives have been irretrievably damaged as a result of cultic practices, while theirs are still intact. It's easy to scoff at people remembering the past cult problems when the scoffers, themselves, have not lost family, friends, home, career, and future because of the cult teachings. It's real easy to sit back and make a sweeping judgment about "forget it," and then quote Jesus out of context. It's real easy to criticize the site when that someone has only "brushed" up against the cult and they've lost only little or nothing worthwhile. They've lost nothing, so they're NO judge.
NEVER JUDGE A PERSON UNTIL YOU WALK A MILE IN HIS MOCCASINS. (Old Indian saying)
As I stated before, in every situation there are at least two sides. Granted, we were gullible and now we're paying for it. But there's still another side, and where there is NO repentance from the present and ex-cult hirelings, then there can be NO forgiveness. That's a Universal principle. And I'm not talking about forgiveness from us, personally, but the Universe has It's own ways of taking care of the attitude of NO repentance.
I see none coming from the Worldwide Church of God+ cults, and so . . . "their sin remains."
Maybe people would recover quicker if more of those jackals apologized, and at least tried to make retribution for all the wrong done. It would be a lot easier for all folks who've been hurt if those top (mammon directed) hirelings admitted they were wrong. This would help with the healing.
But, then again, that's what the APOLOGY PAGE is for, and I don't see many entries.
Where do you find these people?
What the hell does this Melvin Purvis or Richard Purdom or whoever the hell he is come from? Do something "worth wild"? Huh? Is that something they now teach at the new World Wild Church of God? (or is it Church of Gold). Worth Wild? Must be the new English they're gonna teach in the millennium when JC comes back.
OH MY GOD!! THE NEW MILLENIUM IS HERE!!! WHERE'S JC? DID I MISS THE RAPTURE?!?
I missed it. I didn't get to go to Petra! I must not have done enough worth wild . Maybe I shouldn't have quit the Wild Church of God (or didn't give enough Gold).
Oh, well. Mean wild, back at the tribulation. . .
Sorry, Ed. Gotta go to work. Need to do something worth wild today. Fix a few leftover Y2K bugs that I missed before the rapture started. Have a good day, and hang in there. They're not all idiots (quite). Just watch your back, because some of them are dangerous.
I caught that "wild" thing too. I love leaving all their errors in their messages. I tell them to take their best shot at me the first time because they may not get another. I guess that is the best he could do.
To me it shows something--not sure what--but seems the more rabid they are the more illiterate they are also. That guy was a real yo-yo.
Hi again, Ed.
There is an interesting website for Painful Truth readers to explore that the Theosophical Society in America maintains:
The approach of the society towards philosophy and religion is one that tries to include viewpoints and approaches rather than exclude them in their activities. The society encourages people to think and explore literature for themselves and formulate their own methods of developing themselves spiritually.
I recently visited their bookstore in Manhattan, "Quest Bookstore," (at 53rd St. between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, for those who live near NY), and it contains books on the major world religions as well as astrophysics, meditation, healing, environmental topics, and many other alluring ones.
Many of the books that people have mentioned on the PT website can be found in this bookstore, as there are books available on cults and psychology.
Happy reading, Ed.
Keep up the good work you're doing--keeping up with the high volume of good contributions to the website.
My warm greetings to you Sharon, I must commend you on your last article "Mopping up the Mess". It was so true and very beautifully written. You took a troublesome subject, and helped us all to see what we may be doing to ourselves. I have been in and out of those experiences, and agree with your "pep" talk on how to change our habits.
We are free now of the bondage of religion, yet with freedom comes responsibility, not freedom to cop out of life just because we have been hurt. Yes, we need to place responsibility where it belongs, yet now it's our turn to not continue the blame game. I am sure that most of who have grieved, and gone through our angry stage, finally came to see that we were really angry at ourselves for having been duped.
Well, we are all in the same "club". We did what we thought was the best we could at the time. Remember, we are human. Now it is time that we forgive ourselves, and become what we really want to be...our true self.
Your point was well taken that we each need to reframe our thinking about our experience, and use it as a positive way to move on. We have an open forum here on Ed's site to support each other and find joy and peace. Thank you so much for pouring out your story, I'd like to get to know you better when you have time. My best to you and yours.
I have been reading your pages this afternoon... laughed a bit.... and cried a bit...
I was raised in the Worldwide Church of God or Radio Church of God from the time I was 3 years old. Went on to Ambassador, stayed only 2 years thankfully now.. but then I felt I was unworthy to be there... the very cult issues you have brought out so eloquently! After leaving AC, I really began questioning scripture having been taught so much Armstrongism in my life! The tales I could tell!!!
This day, I am still haunted by the memories...it has affected my life even tho I have been away for approximately 18 years now. Thank you for speaking!!
What do you think about New Year? In the church we were told that God's calendar had new year at a different month. Why don't we go by God's calendar?
Clara, You have to remember that you are asking this of a person that doesn't believe that the Bible is from God. That is where the church thinks they get "God's Calendar" from. It is an ancient Jewish calendar, not God's calendar.
Think about it though: Is God so small that he has to set His calendar according to one little insignificant planet in an insignificant solar system in an insignificant galaxy in an incredibly huge and seemingly limitless universe filled with millions and millions of stars?
Why would God even have a calendar? Calendars measure years and months which are determined by the Sun and the Moon. What use would the God of the Universe and all creation have for a calendar?
The New Year means that each of us is one more year closer to finding out if there is anything else on the other side of death. Use the short time that you have with care and enjoy your life now.
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